7 Editing Tips that Can Improve Your Academic Performance
They say we learn from our mistakes. But don’t you think it is better to rectify those mistakes when there’s still time? Whether it is life or academic writing, one must put a significant amount of effort to fix his/her mistakes. Even though fixing the mistakes in life may not be easy, you can certainly master the art of editing and produce error-free academic papers every time.
Before you can fix the errors in your academic paper, you need to identify them first. And that is the hardest part. In this blog, you will find 7 useful tips that will not only help you edit your paper but also teach you how to avoid making such mistakes in the first place. Hopefully, you won’t have to ask others to “edit my paper” after reading this blog.
Table of Contents
Ensure the structure is right:
Before you start proofreading the content you have just finished, you should take a look at the structure of the content. Check the argument you have made for the paper and all the facts and examples that help lead the readers towards a logical conclusion. See, if the arrangement of the points is in the right order or would it make more sense if the points were rearranged.
The essay structure often determines the success of the essay. By evaluating the content structure and making the necessary changes, you can enhance the overall quality of the paper. However, don’t just rearrange the paragraphs to achieve a more logical structure. Read the content again to ensure that the content is making sense in this new order.
Trim the long sentences and paragraphs:
Long sentences affect the readability of the content. Moreover, you are more likely to make mistakes in the content when you write longer sentences. As an editor, you need to take several measures to prune these long sentences. You can split a long sentence into two, or remove the unnecessary section in a sentence. It will be even better if you consciously avoid writing longer sentences.
The same thing goes for longer paragraphs. Nobody likes to read long paragraphs. In fact, a lot of people do not even read the first line if they see long paragraphs in the content. As an editor, you need to break the paragraphs into smaller chunks of words. You can use transition words at the beginning of the second part of the paragraph to continue the flow of information.
Watch for repetition of words and ideas:
As an editor, you also need to keep an eye on the repetition of words and ideas in the content. If you have already mentioned a point in the content, there’s no need to repeat it again in the paper. You can use that space to add new information to the paper.
Also, if you tend to use a few words repeatedly throughout the content, you should identify them and replace them with alternative expressions. You may not notice the repetition of the same word in the content while writing. However, as an editor, you can identify them and fix the issue.
Be careful about the punctuations:
A single comma can change the whole meaning of a sentence. As you may realize, there is a significant difference between the phrases, “Let’s eat, Grandma” and “Let’s eat Grandma”. So, you need to be very careful about the use of punctuation in your content. You cannot have too few or too many commas in your sentences.
Having too few commas make the sentences long and difficult to understand. On the other hand, too many commas can make the sentences sound broken. The trick is to read as you write and look for the pause. For a brief pause, you should use a comma. For a longer pause, you need to use a semi-colon to connect two independent clauses.
Omit unnecessary words:
If a word does not add any value to the sentence, it is better to omit such words from the content. As you may realize, having too many unnecessary words in the content only increases the word count without adding any value to the paper. So, remove such words as soon as you spot them in your content while editing.
Another thing you should omit from your content is weasel words. These words are used for hiding weak or objectionable arguments. They can be presented in the form of numerical vagueness, such as “a lot of people say”, the use of passive voice, such as “it is often said”, and the use of adverbs to soften a point, such as “probably”.
Look for the inconsistent spelling:
One word can have more than one correct spelling. However, while writing an academic paper, you need to be consistent about which spelling you want to use. This is why you need to keep an eye out for such words with more than one correct spelling and ensure that you use only one version of them throughout the content.
The convention of the English language is something that you also need to keep in mind. If you are using British English, you need to ensure that you do not use the American spelling of words such as “Favour”, “Colour”, “Organization”, etc., and vice versa.
Ensure consistent formatting:
The appearance of the essay is another thing that you, as an editor, need to take care of. The formatting of the paper needs to be consistent throughout the paper, and you need to ensure it while editing. Make sure that there is consistency in the use of fonts, italics, underlines, and spacings.
This may not have much to do with the essence of the content. However, having consistent formatting allows you to make your essay look more professional. And these things often make the difference between a mediocre paper and the best essay in the class.
The best thing about editing your own paper is that you get to learn a lot about your own writing style. Moreover, you become more aware of your mistakes and are less likely to commit those same mistakes when you write your next academic paper.
Author bio: Joseph Dan is a high school teacher in Texas, US. He is also a part of the team of experts at Assignmenthelp.us, where he helps students who come with the request “edit my paper”. He also loves to play baseball with his kids.